Mainstream Weekly

Home > 2023 > NDA Vs INDIA | Thirunahari Seshaiah

Mainstream, VOL 61 No 38 September 16, 2023

NDA Vs INDIA | Thirunahari Seshaiah

Saturday 16 September 2023


Who has the upper hand in the Lok Sabha elections?

The 18th Lok Sabha elections in the month of April 2024 are going to heat up the country politics right in the scorching season. The upcoming Lok Sabha elections are set to assume political importance as the newly-formed INDIA (Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance) prepares political strategies to prevent Modi from achieving a hat-trick of victories as he seeks public judgment on his decade-long rule. Who are the voters who gave a chance to the UPA (United Progressive Alliance) and NDA (National Democratic Alliance) for a decade, and who are going to give a chance in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections? Will the BJP, which secured the absolute majority required to form the government in the last two Lok Sabha elections, get a majority again? Whether the INDIA alliance will come to power is widely debated in political circles. In the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, along with public opposition anti incumbency to the 10-year rule of the UPA, corruption was the main issue, and in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, the nationalist Hindutva agenda was the main factor influencing the election and deciding the victory or defeat. But there are no clear signs that two parties are going to fight for power in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.

Are state assembly elections going to be crucial?

Before the Lok Sabha elections, the elections to the Legislative Assemblies of Telangana, Mizoram, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, and Chhattisgarh are going to be held. The victory and defeat of the parties in the assembly elections of these states is likely to affect the Lok Sabha elections as well, so there is no doubt that the party that wins the assembly elections of these five states will provide a positive political environment to face the Lok Sabha elections. After the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, the Congress party, which forgot to win, has to say that the victory in the Himachal Pradesh and Karnataka legislative elections has given life to the party politically. The victory of the Congress Party over the ruling BJP in these two states cannot be ignored so easily. Among the five states where assembly elections are going to be held, regional parties such as BRS and Mizo National Front are in power in Telangana and Mizoram, while the Congress is in power in Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, and the BJP is in power in Madhya Pradesh. In Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, and Madhya Pradesh, the Congress and BJP are facing each other, while the regional parties are looking strong in the states of Telangana and Mizoram. Out of 85 Lok Sabha seats in these five states, 65 are held by the BJP. Only six Lok Sabha seats are in the hands of the Congress, which means that in the 2019 assembly elections, the Congress party formed governments in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, and Chhattisgarh, but failed to win a majority of the Lok Sabha seats. So, in order for the Congress to gain strength in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections, it is necessary for the Congress to win the majority of these five states. In order for the BJP to maintain its previous strength, it must win the assembly elections in these states, so it must be said that winning the assembly elections in these states has become a matter of life and death for both the Congress and the BJP.

What is the strength of any alliance?

Recognizing the need to strengthen the Congress to prevent Modi from coming to power for a third term in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections, the Congress leadership appears to be gearing up ahead of all other parties for victory. Realizing that it could not defeat the BJP alone, the Congress party formed the All India Alliance of 26 parties, along with the UPA partner parties and opposition parties opposing the BJP. The BJP is also trying to strengthen the NDA alliance with 38 parties to compete with the INDIA alliance. If we look at the number of parties, not politically, the INDIA alliance is stronger than the NDA alliance. Currently, in the 17th Lok Sabha, the INDIA alliance has 150 MPs and the NDA alliance has 330 MPs. But there is a possibility of changes in these forces in the 18th Lok Sabha elections. BJP has 244 MPs in the current Lok Sabha from ten states like Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Karnataka, Gujarat, Bihar, West Bengal, Maharashtra, Haryana, and Jharkhand, but in the upcoming elections, they will come from Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Bihar, and Karnataka. Haryana and Jharkhand There are chances of losing BJP MP Seats. At present, the BJP is strong only in UP and Gujarat. If the Samajwadi Party gets stronger in UP by the time of the Lok Sabha elections, the BJP will suffer more politically, and if there is an alliance between the Congress and the Aam Aadmi Party in Gujarat, the Bharatiya Janata Party, which swept the results of the last Lok Sabha elections in Gujarat, may be in trouble this time. On the other hand, if the Congress can increase its number of Lok Sabha seats out of the 82 Lok Sabha seats in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, and Karnataka, the BJP will suffer. Congress representation from these three states in the current Lok Sabha is limited to only two Lok Sabha seats. If the Congress Party, Samajwadi Party, and RJD in the INDIA alliance increase their Lok Sabha seats and TMC, DMK, Shiv Sena, and JDU retain their Lok Sabha seats, there is possibility of the INDIA alliance standing as a strong competitor to the NDA. Lok Sabha seats are likely to decrease for the BJP in UP, MP, Rajasthan, Haryana, and Himachal Pradesh in the north, Maharashtra, and Gujarat in the east. Also, in the south, the BJP has not only lost its previous strength, but also has no chance of resurgence. According to one national survey, the NDA alliance has a chance of winning 255 Lok Sabha seats, and the INDIA alliance has a chance of winning 225 Lok Sabha seats. The opposition alliance looks stronger in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections than in the 2014 and 2019 Lok Sabha elections. Even if there are differences between the parties in the Opposition INDIA Alliance, they may be ironed out by the election, if not; the impact of those differences may not greatly affect the alliance’s chances of victory.

Who is Modi’s alternative?

Even though the opposition INDIA alliance looks strong, the question arises as to who will be the leader who will face Modi in this alliance, and the correct answer to this question is still not found. So far, Modi is ahead of everyone in terms of being the most acceptable person for the post of Prime Minister in the country. Moreover, Modi is too high for them. At a time when Modi is seen as a strong person both domestically and internationally, there is no suitable person to stand as an alternative to Modi in India’s alliance. But there are many leaders like Rahul Gandhi, Nitish Kumar, and Stalin who are popular all over the country in INDIA alliance. Rahul Gandhi is seen as a mature leader after the Bharat Jodo Yatra, and the cancellation of Rahul Gandhi’s Lok Sabha membership after comments on Modi’s family name and reinstatement of membership after the Supreme Court’s stay will show sympathy across the country for Rahul Gandhi. But after Congress president Mallikarjuna Karge announced that he was not interested in the post of Prime Minister, Rahul Gandhi dropped out of the race for the post. Nitish Kumar and M.K. Stalin are likely to emerge as prime ministerial candidates for Modi in the India coalition, out of which Stalin can be seen as an acceptable person. If people are unhappy with Modi’s 10-year rule, is there a chance of India getting a new prime minister after another eight months?

In the upcoming Lok Sabha elections, if it seems that Modi’s strategy is to win the elections by using the developments made by Modi during this 10-year rule as propaganda, along with the politics of appeasing the corruption of the Congress party, the politics of nepotism, the politics of divisiveness, the Hindutva agenda, unemployment, privatization, looting of the country’s wealth by corporate powers, uncontrollable inflation, and farmers’ problems, the India Alliance hopes to take issues like the Manipur violence to the people. The politics of India have been providing for some time now that political equations and tactics are more important than development and public problems. If parties and governments work sincerely for the people and not for politics, there is no need to wait till 2047 for India to become a developed country. Let’s wait for the new government to build a new India.

(Author: Thirunahari Seshaiah is working as an Assistant Professor, Department of Economics, University Arts and Science College (Autonomous), Kakatiya University, Warangal, Telangana State)

ISSN (Mainstream Online) : 2582-7316 | Privacy Policy|
Notice: Mainstream Weekly appears online only.